North Carolina Tar Heels at NC State Wolfpack – NCAAM December 22

North Carolina (5-2) at NC State (4-1)

Series:

The Tar Heels have dominated the series with a 160-79 advantage and they have won 32 of the last 36 games and 49 of the last 60. Roy Williams is 37-4 against NC State which also includes a 5-0 ledger when he was the head coach at Kansas. Carolina has won 20 of the last 24 in Raleigh. This is the earliest meeting since 1979 when the two played at the old Big Four Classic in Greensboro.

Vs. the Spread:

The UNDER has been the play in eight of Carolina’s last nine games as the Tar Heels are also 5-0 ATS in the last five encounters with the Wolfpack. NC State is 5-2 ATS in their last seven while the total has gone UNDER in five of the Pack’s last seven. The UNDER has also been the play in 12 of the Wolfpack’s last 18 ACC games.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
North Carolina -1½ (-116) -130 O 146 (-120)
NC State +1½ (-104) +110 U 146 (+100)

Last Time Out:

The Tar Heels trailed Kentucky, 38-34, at halftime before outscoring the Wildcats, 41-25, in the second half en route to a 75-63 win in the CBS Sports Classic in Cleveland. Armando Bacot led four Tar Heels in double figures with 14 points.

Without DJ Funderburk and Cam Hayes, the Wolfpack pulled away in the second half to roll to a 69-50 victory over the Campbell Fighting Camels. Jericole Hellems led NC State with 19 points as he made 7-of-12 shots from the field. The Pack outrebounded the Camels, 44-23 and held Campbell to only 2-of-17 from behind the arc.

Heel Hype:

North Carolina Tar Heels LogoRoy Williams’ young team is starting to grow up as it has so many new faces who are getting used to each other as the chemistry develops. The “old man” is senior forward Garrison Brooks who has averaged 18.5 points, 9.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists over the last four games against the Wolfpack.

He has been an amazing 26-of-43 from the floor and 22-of-26 from the line in those four outings.

Williams always has placed a huge emphasis on rebounding and Carolina has one of it’s best teams at attacking the glass as Armando Bacot, Garrison Brooks, Leaky Black, and Day’Ron Sharpe all average over seven per game. North Carolina has a (+12.7) advantage on the boards so far, and the schools record is (+12.3) which was set in 2016-17. The Wolfpack get outrebounded by (-1.6) per game as physically aggressive Saint Louis hammered NCSU, 53-26, in the Wolfpack loss last week.

Bark at the Moon:

North Carolina State Wolfpack LogoIn order to put themselves in position to knock off the Tar Heels, the Pack has to proliferate the turnover battle where the teams forces 22.2 per game as it has won turnover battle in all five games. North Carolina State is at a (+11) in winning that turnover battle where the Wolfpack has scored 19.5 points off turnovers this season.

Meanwhile, Carolina has had ball handling issues in averaging 15.7 turnovers per game while forcing only 14.0 per outing. The 21.8 turnovers per 100 possessions could become an issue as the game unfolds.

The Wolfpack has had five games canceled due to COVID-19 protocols and NC State has had only nine players available in it’s last two games. Devon Daniels (16.2 ppg/5.2 rpg) and Jericole Hellems (13.4 ppg/5.2 rpg) are the two leading scorers. Daniels and Hellems are also the top two rebounders behind big man Manny Bates (10.2 ppg, 6.0 rpg). Coach Kevin Keatts needs DJ Funderburk to be able to play and stay aggressive in the rebound battle.

Winner: North Carolina (-1½) 78, North Carolina State 72
O/U: Take OVER 146

The Bets
North Carolina -1½
-116
OVER 146
-120
Sub Categories:
Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.